Watch CBS News

SJ Residents Blast PG&E After Transformer Blows, Shutting Off Power During Heat Wave

SAN JOSE (KPIX) - After suffering all weekend without power, San Jose residents blasted Pacific Gas & Electric for equipment failure that caused the utility to shut off their electricity during the hottest days of summer.

Raghu Battula and hundreds of his neighbors finally regained power Monday after losing it for 44 hours as the heatwave scorched the Bay Area.

"I have zero trust in PG&E," said Battula.

According to PG&E's website, the outage was because of a broken transformer. It shut down power to 340 people in the Almaden neighborhood at 8:34 p.m., on Saturday. It was finally restored on Monday around 4 p.m.

Now Battula fears his power could go out again, but this time after PG&E's threat of rolling blackouts as high temperatures put strain on the state's power grid.

"We feel angry, actually, as to why this happens in a state like (this), in a country like ours," he said.

That same day, Mayor Sam Liccardo blasted the utility company for being dishonest to its customers when it blamed the California Independent System Operator for ordering the power shutoffs.

Instead his constituents, he said, experienced extended blackouts because of PG&E's failing system.

"PG&E is not being upfront with our residents," said Liccardo. "While, certainly, the heat is a contributing factor, the fundamental reason is the inadequate infrastructure that PG&E has failed to maintain and replace over many years."

"It's a shame," said Brian Kane.

He and his wife were also part of the outage in the Almaden neighborhood and were forced to sleep at their son's home after a blistering night without air conditioning.

"The first night that we were here in this weather it was terrible," Kane said. "It was just really hot."

He said he was also frustrated with PG&E because there didn't appear to be much regulation over the company.

Battula said he lost hundreds of dollars worth of groceries and his son missed a day of distance learning. He and his family are now crossing their fingers they will be spared from rolling blackouts as the California Independent System Operator can't promise there won't be future outages.

"Two nights with basically zero sleep," Battula said. "We're actually thinking of getting a generator now because we can't trust PG&E."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.